College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Mathematics

Donald W. Bushaw, Emeritus

The Department of Mathematics is proud to recognize Donald W. Bushaw, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and former department chair, as the recipient of the College of Sciences 2008 Legacy Award. Dr. Bushaw has touched the lives of faculty, staff and students during his dedicated service to Washington State University.


Daniel J. Bernardo, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, fondly remembers learning from Dr. Bushaw during his first semester at WSU as a graduate student in Agricultural Economics. "I took a 400-level course in the Department of Mathematics from Dr. Bushaw. This course was developed principally to provide economics graduate students an introduction to the various mathematical tools required to complete a graduate program. Dr. Bushaw was one of the most engaging and influential instructors that I encountered as a student at UC Davis and WSU. His ability to teach the myriad of topics encompassed in this course was truly impressive, and my cohorts and I often credited him with "saving our bacon" as we navigated through the mathematical economics, econometrics, and statistics courses in the doctoral program. It was not until I left WSU and began to work in the profession that I realized that I had been taught by a true icon in the mathematics profession. The fact that such an accomplished mathematician was willing (and able!) to teach a course dedicated to economics graduate students is a great testimony to his commitment to education."


In his article, "Opening Minds Setting Lives on Course," (Washington State Magazine, November 2004), former WSU President Lane Rawlins spoke of teaching and inspiration saying, "Some believe that this ability to teach and inspire is simply a gift that you either have or do not have. Certainly, it comes easier for some than others, but as one who has spent a lifetime in universities, I can tell you that good teaching, like any good art, is 90 percent perspiration. That work is easier if you have help. While I was a young professor here, I found that I had much to learn from master teachers on our faculty who were eager to help me. From Ralph Thayer I learned how to conduct a seminar. I watched and learned from outstanding faculty members like Howard Payne, Rom Markin, Paul Castleberry, Wallace Petersen, Don Bushaw, and others. The best faculty have always set the standard that the rest of us tried to reach."


Donna F. Clark had the privilege of being Dr. Bushaw's assistant in the Provost's Office from 1986 to 1993. Donna wrote the following about Dr. Bushaw at the time of his retirement from WSU.

"Don Bushaw had a long and illustrious career at Washington State University. Don began as a library assistant in 1943 at WSU (then the State College of Washington) while he was an undergraduate. He left WSU to pursue his Ph.D. at Princeton University and then returned to WSU, serving as Instructor, Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Mathematics, as well as Acting Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Acting Director of Libraries (twice), Vice Provost for Instruction from 1986-1993 and also Senior Advisor to the Provost.

In mathematics at WSU Don taught fifteen different freshman-level courses, 9 different sophomore-level courses, 6 different junior-level courses, 12 different senior-level courses, 2 different undergraduate seminars, 10 different graduate courses, 8 different graduate seminars, and university honors courses. Don advised undergraduate and graduate students almost continuously through his career. Approximately 350 to 400 students were his advisees for significant lengths of time. Don was active in many national scholarly mathematical associations and served in various capacities for the Mathematical Association of America.

For his instructional efforts, WSU honored Don with the Faculty Invited Address in 1968, the President's Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction in 1983, the CASE nominee for Professor of the Year in 1984, the WSU Faculty Library Award "for distinguished contributions to the WSU Libraries" in 1986 and the Distinguished Service Award by the WSU College of Sciences and Arts in 1987.

This writing cannot begin to capture the value of the advice, wisdom, and good humor he has so freely shared with colleagues, faculty, staff, students, and parents during his years at WSU. The phrase "open door policy" may have been coined from the way Don conducted business over the years, and WSU certainly benefited from his policy.

In appreciation of Don's many contributions, the manuscript and archives reading room in the new Holland Addition was named in his honor. The Glenn Terrell Scholarship program has a scholarship in the name of Donald W. and Sylvia R. Bushaw. The initial endowment was $25,000 and scholarship awards are given yearly.

We are very lucky to have had Don at WSU. He is the embodiment of uncommon dedication, intelligence, industriousness and integrity."


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Recipient of the

College of Sciences

2008 Legacy Award





Dr. and Mrs. Bushaw talk with Dean Michael Griswold at the 2008 College of Sciences Recognition Social


Dr. and Mrs. Bushaw at the 2008 College of Sciences Recognition Social

Department of Mathematics, PO Box 643113, Neill 103, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-3113 Phone: 509-335-3926 Fax: 509-335-1188 Contact Us